Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Dualed (Dualed #1) by Elsie Chapman


More than a though cookie, this is a very strange cookie....from a dystopian perspective.
Truth is _for me _ this book crashed and burned as a dystopia. There's one two many lose ends, a very problematic use of science _that would probably leave other readers in fits of anger, lol _, and a very underdeveloped world building...

This was one of many books that never actually caught my interest during its release last year.
Of course I saw it being mentioned on GR's, but there's always books that will not be read, because time will never be enough for all of them. And that's too bad.
This year, to my surprise, I was pre-approved  on Netgalley to read it's sequence "Divided", and I thought to myself : Why not?
When I started reading it: ~Good first line~

I’ve buried nearly everyone I love.

After awhile: ~Oh, my God, this is a poisoned apple!~

Since the city is closed off to the rest of the world, limiting space and resources, only the best of us are wanted. The Board, in their genius, created Alts, manipulating genes so two identical children are born to two sets of parents. 

A little after: ~Okay... the world building is a disaster, and the science doesn't make sense, but I'm curious to see where this is going~

"But now they’re also the eyes of an Alt gone active, no longer an idle. Encoded on each pupil is a black spiral of tiny numbers. The sequence seems random, (..)"

 Towards the last chapters: ~Staring avidly into the pc's screen~

I bend down to the coffee table, studying its glossy surface now covered with a layer of dust.
It’s a water ring. 
From a careless cup or mug. It cuts through the dust right down to the wood, so I know it’s recent.
I straighten, my heart pounding just a little bit louder now, a new thought forming in my mind. In the wake of my discovery of her ability to make herself at home here, I go to the front door.
It’s unlocked.

This dystopia makes absolutely no sense!
In the future (???) the cold vaccine has had the side effect of rendering most of us (???) infertile.
Apparently people have been living in a constant state of War outside this enclave.
Enclave that was created due to some sort of split in the territory (how?), and the people who wanted to stay in this *of-war zone* would have to live; according to some very harsh rules (of course according to this reality, I would have liked to see any of these characters consider leaving this place!).
_People are infertile _ Solution _ Lets create clones/twins _and lets allow for each of them to get raised by a different set of parents.
_We live in a closed environment so_ Lets make those twins/clones fight one another in order to make sure that only the strongest one, survives.

Did I mention the infertility thing?
Why create them, to end up killing them?
I have an idea: Military training from childhood!
Oh wait, that already happens... O_O

And then there's the fact, that you could be over this phase _that happens until the 20' mark _ and end up dead, because you found yourself  in the middle of some completion of an assignment!

Once again, if people numbers are so important, why risk killing bystanders?

And then it's not like these idles (people waiting to become Actives, which in turn will fight to become Completes) only fight when they reach, at least puberty! No, eleven years old can turn into actives (30 day period that the two alts have to fight one another), without having had proper training!

On one side, I understand the author's approach: If things aren't fair, why would the rules to this unfair way of living, be as "fair", moral and neatly as possible?

On the other hand... societies need some form of stability, and a strong set of rules, and having, I don't know, dozens, hundreds of people all at a same time, walking around with guns, striking collateral damages *collateral deaths* as they wish, would be like having a bomb waiting to defuse at any single time!
What would stop these people of turning against the Board?
So, like I said:
This dystopia, *cough sorry*, kind of sucks...

But as an action book... hello!!
West, could be a young, female, Jason Bourne.
Get ready for some seriously grisly moments. Honestly I lost count to how many people, the girl _fifteen years old_ends up killing.

Once again I wish that had been more development towards certain parts of the story: she becomes an hired assassin when she hasn't even completed her training . And since she works for such a part that relies heavily on not being compromised _as things normally do _, where's the logic of allowing a green girl into that type of job? She could have been caught, and forced to reveal what she knew. Not much _true _but even so, it could turn out to be an unnecessary complication.

Okay, action story....
As an action story this definitely worked. The writing was crisp enough, with enough parts of emotion, to keep me hooked into the story.
West is a character who is grieving for her family, and I liked that the author didn't try to turn her into a robot.
She has human reactions, despite the fact that she has been training through most of her life to kill another person.
I would have liked however to have seen West's Alt, portrayed in a less emotionless form...because we only got West's emotions, it was as if we were being desensitized towards her Alt.

The romance
Thank God, it was kept to a minimum (lol) and on the background, where it should be! ;)
Very well done, it never stole the spotlight of what was actually happening:
West's fight for survival.

So, do I recommend it?
Well, the first half, with all it's dystopian strange rules, is like I said, quite problematic.
But if this kind of thing, doesn't bother you, and if you want to read a real action page turner, this is the book for you... if you're not squirmish, that is.

Also, if you're interested in reading a book that features a real female assassin, this is your book!
Forget about wannabe assassins that end up not being more than spoiled princess!! *coughcoughCalaenacough*

Myself, after the way this turned out to be, and since I got an arc from Netgalley, I'll be reviewing Divided in the next couple of days.


Buy "Dualed"
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